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I feel positive about finishing this course as this training is going to be helpful in my career as a medical assistant. Granted, I may be guilty of multitasking while attending my studies but used the pointer to help scholastics in chapter one of "dividing your]task into several sections" (McWhorter.9) and keeping a "quiet [study space] [not to] be interrupted" (McWhorter.9) while doing classwork. Another challenge that could emerge when balancing a full-time career, attending household duties, and my now mandatory composition course is that it is important for me to prepare and arrange what days/time I will be able to prioritize my school work. I am hopeful that the course objectives and necessity to complete them will push me to be successful in this composition course.
Inventory: In taking the inventory quiz on page 32, I learned I am independent, creative, spatial, rational, and a little more abstract. Reviewing these results as a writer, I would probably be better at writing more expository and persuasive essays since both require statistics/quotes/info when writing than which would correlate to the rational trait that is present in my results. However, being rational I would most likely feel awkward with narrative and descriptive essays because, even though I have a creative aspect, I am so used to having to back up my claim or use quotes that I would feel weird not including them. Additionally, if needed to write a persuasive essay, I would stray away from the use of pathos as a rhetorical appeal which would restrict my skill as a writer.
May 2, 2017, ENTRY 2: Correctness in Writing
The importance of accuracy in writing: correctness in writing is crucial as it influences the impact the writer has on the reader. Punctuation and spelling may affect meaning and ideas that the author is trying to convey to the reader. Grammatical errors may come in the way of communication since the reader will pick a different meaning from that which the writer intended to pass across. In many other instances, errors have been found to impact the credibility of the author negatively, especially when an author has provided information that is factual or expert knowledge. Errors in writing may be taken to imply that an author does not respect the audience and such readers are likely to distance themselves from such a writer.
My strengths and weaknesses: As a budding author, I have my fair share of weaknesses and strengths. My weaknesses manifest themselves in the form of occasional poor grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Fortunately, I look forward to improving my areas of weakness by reading about ways to perfect my writing and language. I also consult the dictionary, read newspapers and novels to improve my vocabulary. My strength is that I understand my limitations as a writer, and I work hard to broaden my horizon. I regularly take the time to reflect upon my writing to build on my weak areas.
May 3, 2017, ENTRY 3: Prewriting and Thesis Statement
Brainstorming: social media is a useful platform as it allows individuals to stay connected. This is important since our lives revolve around work and education meaning we are consistently busy. There are three platforms that I have found useful over the years, and have allowed me to stay connected with friends and family; LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. The order does not imply priority as each one of these three is important its way. Facebook allows one to stay connected with family and friends all over the globe. Twitter allows for a great sharing experience with a huge number of people. It provides a sound platform for discussions online. LinkedIn is a platform for professional interaction, growth and engagement opportunities for job seekers. Social platforms offer a good way of interacting with new individuals, keeping in touch with members of our families.
May 4, 2017, ENTRY 4: Organizing and Drafting
My approach in attempting to hold the thesis would be a hamburger styled paragraph and layout. This method is useful in this context since it provides readers with a glimpse of what to expect as the paragraphs unravel themselves. The section’s body consists of the central part as well as examples to lend support to arguments presented. After that, a recap of the thesis is made to remind readers what the content was about. It is my strong belief that hamburger approach is sound and efficient when presenting an argument.
May 5, 2017, ENTRY 5: Revising
Purpose and Audience: The audience targeted is young individuals who are being urged to pursue other forms of communication other than technology. The author is effective in communicating to the public on the importance of using traditional means when indulging senior members of the community. One thing the author needs to improve upon is an engaging audience in a manner that would help them understand the importance of non-technological communication and its importance to young individuals. The focus has gone into its benefits to seniors, which is not the best approach when prompting change.
Thesis declaration, topic sentences, and paragraphs: The argument come us very well. It has been provided in the first sentence, where it is stated that letters are advantageous over emails when communicating with seniors. The author achieves this with ease, and the essay is rife with sound examples, such as those about crayons, pictures as well as the power that paper has over technology. The thesis is well stated to the extent that I am persuaded.
Sufficient evidence has been presented in the paper. He says that seniors belong to an era in which paper was the most commonly used means of communication without engaging too much detail. The essay delves into the idea of crayons as well as pictures and the fact that seniors are perceptive to a change in the younger generation’s handwriting. The author does well to state that seniors feel that they have interacted with the writer of a letter when they are in possession of a physical letter. So, I believe the author as engaged a lot of good examples as evidence in support of the thesis.
The essay depicts a writer who is somewhat organized. However, the draft could be organized further with a little more effort. For instance, it is possible to expand the current thesis to remove the assumption that this essay only focuses on letters and emails. It requires a lot of effort and time for a reader to grasp what the author is passing across. I believe it is possible to derive better organization and flow.
May 6, 2017, ENTRY 6: Evaluation
An important aspect of these learning process was learning steps involved in the writing process. Before this course, the processes I indulged were relatively scattered, however, my papers were not below standard. Now the steps are familiar to me, and I am well able to recall each one correctly. My work is now outstanding since I have better organization and cohesiveness. I am excited to have learned this processes and employed them in my writing assignments.
The second element I gained was thought development. My ability to create topic sentences and sufficient detail has developed as well. I have mastered the types of transitions to employ and where they are useful. Initially, my essays were somewhat disjoint and lacked flow. It is now easy for my readers to grasp concepts I am putting across!
Lastly, I have developed an ability to write commendably. I realized that is it important to exercise directness, providing sufficient detail as well as reiterating key ideas.
May 7, 2017, ENTRY 7: Description and Narration Prewriting
The photo of my choice is that of our high School graduation picture session with my parents and little brother. In the back, there is a crowd of other families taking pictures as well. On the left section of the picture is my dad looking boisterous, next to him is my little brother looking extremely excited, I am the next person in line wearing my graduation attire, while my mother is on the extreme right looking happy and jubilant. The day was bright, and all sunny, the environment was full of chatter, laughter, and jubilation. The air was jam-packed with the aroma of chocolates, perfumes, and blossoming flowers. The picture reminded me of the many cooking I consumed and holding the picture alone brings back the longing I had for that day to arrive and graduate from high school.
Compare: The day was as bright as a freshly lit magnesium ribbon. It was like being in an atmosphere surrounded by brightly lit atoms of neon gas.
The snapshot was captured in front of the main gate. After having been in high School for a while, I finally graduated and the day was worth remembering, so my family decided that a picture would be one way to remember this important event in my life. In the photo, there is my parents and sibling, and my mother was busy saying she could not believe I had graduated since, according to her, I was a child a few years prior! I was experiencing immense joy, knowing that I was ready to move to the next phase of my life.
May 8, 2017, ENTRY 8: Description and Narration
That day I woke up to a lot of excitement from my parents and siblings. “Ready for your bid day?”, my mother asked. I was not sure what an appropriate response would be in this case. “I guess I have waited for this day for a while, yeah, I am excited; no, I am thrilled to bits.” I dressed up, and we left for school. The day was all sunny and bright; everyone looked excited. Even those classmates who did not like each other put their differences aside and decided that this day was more important that difference in ideology. I was imaging what it would feel like once the ceremony was over.
The picture depicts our feelings, the nature of the day and the atmosphere, and it would provide a thorough description of how the day went. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true in this instance!
May 9, 2017, ENTRY 9: Comparison and Contrast
Brainstorm: during my interaction with friends, I frequently indulge in texting, updating my status or tweets, reports and emails. I write emails to my professors when I need to seek clarification; I also send texts to friends to communicate about important events, scheduling visits or if we are planning to go for nature walks.
The emails and reports to supervisors and professors are formal while the texts, tweets and Facebook updates fall under the category of informal communication.
When writing to friends, the language is usually casual and relaxed. Mostly it involved abbreviated texts that my friends are familiar with. Greetings include a casual hi, or yoh. When communicating with my professors, the language is formal and respectful.
May 10, 2017, ENTRY 10: Definition
Define: before indulging the textbook, I understood plagiarism to be the inclusion of another author work on my own without citing this author appropriately. My definition is short of the part where I claim the work to be my own and not the authors. I also did not know that there are other forms of plagiarism such as accidental or deliberate. Also, the definition of each of these two types of plagiarisms can be taken literally for those not acquainted with the notion of plagiarism. The first time I encountered these forms of plagiarism, it occurred to me that I started wondering how plagiarism can be accidental or deliberate.
Reflect: plagiarism is not acceptable. Having read the textbook, I gained insight on how to avoid this educational malpractice. Since I value my grades, I have developed the need to understand appropriate ways of rephrasing information. Also, I think the best approach to avoid plagiarism is knowing information thoroughly such that it is possible to write it in my words. With this knowledge, it is possible to write original content.
May 11, 2017, ENTRY 11: Cause and Effect
Brainstorm: I returned to school to advance my academic level, which is critical to me. Online education provides me with sufficient flexibility to study as well as work. Having gone back to school, my knowledge base has increased. With an additional certificate, I will be able to rise the ranks at work and achieve my dream of reaching the highest level of the corporate ladder.
An active organizer for me would be the cause-effect graphic organizer. It is modest and presents information is a very simple manner. An example is provided below.
May 12, 2017, ENTRY 12: Evaluation
The patterns of development gained have improved how I think and write. For the purpose of my future course, I will be able to organize my work in a manner that provided enough details and proper structure. Also, I will be able to express my ideas such that I can convey my message to the readers. Furthermore, I will be able to produce reports that are detailed and comprehensive.
May 13, 2017, ENTRY 13: Evaluating Your Sources
Facts, opinions, and biases are three categories of information that have the potential to damage the relationship between the author and the reader. Quality research sources are those that have been peer reviewed. This means such sources are based on facts that can be verified. Biased research sources are not conclusive as they contain information that refuses to look at information in a comprehensive manner. Opinions are not founded on research, but on assumptions that have no scientific backing. It is important to differentiate between these three categories to ensure that the decisions that the readers may make based on this information are informed decision without detrimental effects.
May 14, 2017, ENTRY 14: Organizing Your Information
Whenever I encounter a situation that requires me to organize data, I look for simple and faster ways of categorizing the information. The standard methods I used to organize my information includes alphabetically, based on time and category. The progressive organization is useful where I know what topics I am dealing with. The important thing is that I understand terms I am dealing with which makes it easy to locate the information. The time-based organization is useful where data is arranged in a chronological fashion. One such example is the use of a flow chart. The broadest of them all is the use of categories. A category is useful when we need to organize data based on types. Other ways are the hierarchy which is useful when one wants to show the connection between data and location which uses visual depictions to represent space.
May 15, 2017, ENTRY 15: Using Your Sources Responsibly
Quotations are sentences or words obtained directly from a text written by another author and used in one’s text to illustrate a point. A paraphrase is rewriting another writer’s idea in one’s words while a summary is a shortened version of the main text that highlights the most important points in one’s words.
Quotes are important when a writer intends to emphasize a point to an audience relating to a topic that the author holds dear or is passionate about. If for instance the theme is cyberbullying, and the writer wants to emphasize how harmful this practice is, it would best to find another writer who has published a paper on the same subject and apply his words in quotation marks and then cite it.
A paraphrase works in the same way as a quote. However, a paraphrase is a rewrite of the words of another writer using own words. A paraphrase is useful when writing papers that draw a lot of their information from external sources. A summary comes in handy when one wants to get the gist of an article. A review extracts the main ideas leaving out everything else.
May 16, 2017, ENTRY 16: Planning Your Argument
Alternative energy is economical and beneficial compared to traditional energy sources. This supposition is a fact that has been backed by extensive research in the area of alternative sustainable energy sources. This research paper purposes to provide an analysis detailing and supporting the claim that alternative energy sources are cheaper that traditional sources (BBC). Alternative energy sources are cleaner, friendly to the environment and are renewable. Wind energy is much cleaner compared to other energy sources such as coal. The burning of coal causes environment pollution which contributed to global warming. To alleviate effects of global warming on the environment, it is important to shift to renewable and clean energy sources.
With cleaner energy, our environment does not experience pollution and degradation. Coal mining causes huge track of land to undergoes dereliction. These huge pits fill up with water causing mosquitoes to breed and spread malaria (BBC). With issues such as the Zika virus, we cannot afford to harbor mosquitoes. Wind energy is renewable; we do not need to pollute the environment to generate energy for use. All we need is to install wind turbines which turn when the wind flows.
May 17, 2017, ENTRY 17: Recognizing Your Opposition
The three ways in which opposing views may be presented includes paraphrasing, use of conditional statements and quotes. Quoting means using statements that have been made by those who are opposed to one’s thesis to provide the opposition with an opportunity to speak. A paraphrase is rewriting another person’s work in own words. It allows for contextualization of opposition’s statements. Conditional statements allow a writer to voice the readers’ opposition to a proposed thesis.
Recognizing the opposition is important as it allows an author sufficient ground to pitch an argument. One reason it is important is that it helps boost the credibility of an author in the eyes of the readers. Where an author simply makes a summary of existing opposition without actually naming the writers who pitched such arguments leads readers to assume that sufficient research is lacking. Also, recognizing opposition lends authority to a writer’s voice.
May 18, 2017, ENTRY 18: Course Reflection
I have gained more confidence as a writer. I am now able to express myself sufficiently, write a well thought out paper that has most of the essential elements of a good article. Presently I understand how to structure a topic sentence and give sufficient support and also appeal to values or needs of the readers. This is something I had problems with at the beginning of the course. However, I feel I need more practice to perfect the skill of writing. Also, I am sure there are other writing essentials that I am yet to learn. My goal is to research deeply and sharpen my skills even further.
At the commencement of the course, my goals were to be a better writer. I have attained that purpose to an extent. I do not think I would change my approach to writing and there are no regrets whatsoever. I intend to write papers that are factual, well-structured enough to speak to my readers in the most comprehensive manner.
BBC. Renewable Energy Sources". Bbc.Co.Uk, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/energy_resources/energy_rev2.shtml.
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